Elon University faculty, staff and students gathered in the Snow Family Grand Atrium on Friday, March 31st to dedicate the new School of Communications facilities and recognize those that made the expansion a reality.
President Leo Lambert along with Dean Paul Parsons and Board of Trustees chair Kerrii Anderson spoke at the dedication ceremony to acknowledge the expansion of the school and personally thank all of the donors present.
The School of Communications underwent an expansion with the addition of Dwight C. Schar Hall, Snow Family Grand Atrium, Citrone Plaza and Steers Pavilion. There were also renovations done to the already established McEwen and Long buildings.
Lambert cited Elon as having one of the best schools of communications as he spoke to the crowd of students, faculty, staff, parents, donors and more present at the event. He thanked Dwight and Martha Schar for their generosity and said that they had given Elon the single largest gift in the history of the university.
“It’s a wonderful school,” Schar said. “This is an inherent part of the university and being able to help bring this to fruition, you know, I like to get involved in things that are transformational and what is being done here with the School of Communications is transformational.”
Schar is also responsible for the currently-in-construction building of the Schar Convocation Center.
“They made a major gift to the university to support the building of the convocation center,” Parsons said. “The university said ‘this is wonderful, but our next building project is the School of Communications, would you be willing to have a portion of your gift go to the School of Communications?’ Their gift at that time was $12 million and so a portion of that gift then was allocated to build the building and the rest of their gift will go to build the Schar Convocation Center.”
An official ribbon cutting featuring Lambert, Anderson, Parsons and representatives of the Schar, Snow, Steers, Citrone, Turner and Williams families occurred following the closing remarks from Parsons. The ribbon was cut into portions by each of the representatives.
“The fabulous faculty along with the students rounds out a full offering for the facilities,” Anderson said. “We are dedicating the facilities to ensure the success of our graduates.”
A reception ensued after the ribbon was cut and those in attendance were treated to food and were free to walk around the School of Communications and receive a tour of the new and already established facilities. There were people in every corner of the school.
Schar and many others believe that the new facilities will help continue to improve the School of Communications and further go up in ranks.
“Hopefully, it will continue to improve the quality that the university is already putting out, keeping it current with the modern, changing times,” Schar said about the expansions and renovations.
The many donors in attendance were parents of recent graduates of the university.
“Parents mostly are the ones that say this is a program we want to invest in,” Parsons said. “I’m in amazement at the generosity of parents in particular.”
Parsons, as the only dean that the School of Communications has had, believes that the facilities will ensure that students will continue to succeed and flourish in the new and improved environment.
“I do think that facilities contribute to a quality learning experience,” Parsons said. “Facilities also attract good students and so that combination, I believe, over the next few years will cause us to have even better students with even more student success.”